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The Big Three In The World Of Search Engine Optimisation

Aug 7, 2008
In the world of search engine optimisation the 'big three', that is Google, MSN and Yahoo are regarded to be the focus of any optimisation effort. These three search engines however all use algorithms which although similar, are different enough to bring diverse results for the same key terms. Despite the differences, through effective measures it is possible to achieve good rankings in all three. Most SEO specialists see this as the biggest challenge, to achieve good rankings in the 'big three' simultaneously.

The 'big three' may have differing methods but ultimately their objectives are the same. This is to supply the user with the most relevant and useful results for any particular search term. This is why, with specialist knowledge it is possible to achieve high rankings in all three engines. Obviously however, if the key terms being targeted are too generic and competitive, achieving top spot in all of the 'big three' is an exceptionally difficult task. Subsequently when selecting keywords it is essential to find a balance between competition and specialisation. Too generic and competition will be too high, too specific and the search volume will be too low.

Most search engine optimisation industry workers will agree that in terms of difficulty MSN, Yahoo and Google differ; MSN usually being the easiest to achieve rankings, followed by Yahoo and then Google.

MSN requires an approach than is heavily link focussed, although content is still important. MSN tends to be the fastest of the three to pick up on changes in content and links and hence will yield results more quickly. Some analysts estimate that although MSN is considered the third most popular engine, the users are over ten percent more likely to buy the items they are looking at in comparison to Google and Yahoo. In terms of results, six months will be the benchmark of success in MSN, this is however dependent upon the competition for the search terms.

Yahoo generally uses the same methods of operation as MSN meaning that optimisation for one will normally produce results in both. Yahoo in recent years however have decided to pursue similar methods as the market leader Google. This move is probably an attempt to court some of the millions of people who use Google to instead choose Yahoo. Part of this effort has focussed on creating greater emphasis on the temporal nature of links, meaning that sights with relevant and recent links will rank higher. This does however mean that optimisers must have a constant approach if they want to achieve consistent results in Yahoo.

Naturally Google is the primary focus for all SEO specialists. As the world's most popular search engine it creates more traffic than both of the others combined. Ethical methods of optimisation are most worthwhile with Google as operatives are adept at picking up black hat techniques. Content is king and holds a great deal of sway when it comes to compiling rankings; as do the number of links to a site. Out of the 'big three' results in Google will take the longest but ultimately are the most worthwhile.

When pursuing optimisation it is normally the case that by applying methods that work best in Google, results will be forthcoming in the other two. By striving to create well written, structured and constructed content success will be attainable. Success will not be immediate however, optimisation is a long game that only brings high rankings and increased traffic in an elongated period of time.
About the Author
Internet marketing expert Thomas Pretty looks at the major search engines and how search engine optimisation methods can differ for each.
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